As the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) continues to work its way through a backlog caused by the agency’s COVID-19-related closure, Gov. Phil Murphy is reminding residents they may be able to “skip the trip” to renew licenses and registration.
Since reopening on July 7, the MVC has conducted more than 483,000 transactions – roughly 55% of its total backlog that accumulated during the 16-week-closure, Murphy said.
That figure, Murphy said during his Aug. 5 media briefing, represents about “nine weeks’ worth of the backlog of customer needs.”
“That’s good news,” he added.
‘We Are Getting There’
Upon reopening its doors, MVC locations were greeted by crowds of people who spent hours waiting in line to conduct their business.
“If you’re not one of the ones that they’ve gotten to yet and you’re frustrated, I don’t blame you. We understand this,” Murphy said. “This is a little bit like unemployment insurance. We’ve been hit with an all-time historic tsunami, and they’re doing great work to catch up on that backlog. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t necessarily feel great about standing in line. Our sympathy is completely with you, but have patience. We are getting there.”
According to the governor, since the MVC resumed road tests on June 29, nearly 40,000 tests have “been administered fully” and the agency has fully met its demand, which means appointments for road tests are now open and available.
“With this backlog now eliminated, the MVC will begin the process of closing the additional sites which it opened to administer behind-the-wheel tests and allowing the instructors assigned to those facilities to return to their regular duties in MVC’s Inspections Department,” said the governor. “I say this again, even with all of this, we know that some customers still are experiencing some long waits to complete their business with MVC.”
How To ‘Skip The Trip’
In an effort to limit the amount of people visiting MVC sites, the agency expanded the number of services that can be conducted online.
Services available online include: license & ID replacements, registration replacements, license & ID renewals, registration renewals, change of address, ordering vehicle history, pay surcharge & restoration fees and requesting lost registration renewal PINs.
Besides opening six days a week, Monday to Saturday, the MVC automatically extended deadlines for documents such as driver’s licenses, non-driver IDs, registrations, temporary tags and inspections.
Documents that expire between March 13 and May 31 are now good through Sept. 30 and those that expire between June 1 and Aug. 31 are extended through Dec. 31.
Written knowledge tests resumed by appointment only on Aug. 3 and appointments can be booked online up to 30 days in advance. Customers can also visit the agency’s website to check for line times.
The governor said much of the agency’s success in addressing the backlog “has been because so many transactions can be completed online.”
“We remind you that before you even leave your house and head to an agency, please check online to see if your business can be conducted remotely. If it can, that’s another good reason to stay home and complete it online and save the spot in the line at the MVC itself for someone else,” he said.
As of Aug. 6, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 183,701 with 411 new cases and eight new deaths, bringing that total to 13,989. The state probable death count remained at 1,853, bringing the overall total to 15,842.
Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 1,866, followed by Bergen at 1,787, Hudson with 1,335, Passaic at 1,091, Morris at 679, Sussex at 160 and Warren with 157.
In regards to probable deaths, Bergen has 251, Essex has 239, Hudson has 167, Passaic at 170, Morris at 148, Sussex has 37 and Warren has 14.
Officials reported 754 patients are hospitalized, with the north tier reporting 187 patients hospitalized, the central 244 and the south 149.
Of those hospitalized, 129 are in intensive care units and 54 on ventilators, while 60 patients were discharged.
Long-term Care Facilities
Health officials noted currently 274 long-term care facilities are reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 18,250 of the cases, broken down between 11,782 residents and 6,468 staff.
Cumulatively, 614 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 24,587 residents and 12,945 staff, for a total of 37,532 cases.
The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 6,954 on Aug. 6. The facilities are reporting to the state 6,679 residents deaths and 119 staff deaths.